Tuesday, March 9, 2021
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Home World Carnival in Mainz: Helau again!

Carnival in Mainz: Helau again!


We Mainz are highly talented, but not profound. Cosmopolitan, but only after eating. And Mardi Gras is much more social democratic today.

The audience is enthusiastic – recording of the program “Mainz remains Mainz” in February 2000 Foto: Andreas Arnold/picture alliance

Lars Reichow

Lars Reichow Foto: Alexander Sell

I want to put it lovingly: Mainz is a city with little ambition. A real Mainz native knows exactly how important the relationship between work and reward is. For us, the trick is to do just enough to ensure a frugal and good-humored life. We like to sing, we dance, as far as this is medically indicated, we are professionals in partying.

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The Rhenish Hessian temperament is almost Mediterranean, although we tend to be obese because of the mostly fat “German” dishes (meat sausage, Spundekäs and lots of pretzels) and high-calorie drinks. My mother even goes so far in her feelings that she has preferred men with bellies to those without weight problems throughout her life. That also resulted in a very compact figure for me – I didn’t want to disappoint her.

But what is a certain initial weakness against the unbeatable original idea of ​​the Rheinhessen, the Mainz, to shorten the mentally fragile phase between the New Year and the beginning of fasting with a lavish dress-up party and mass drinking? Simply add a fifth to the recognized four seasons! Carnival as a springboard into spring! Always provided that you survive the foolish days, especially the grueling road missions in the final phase, unharmed and without a hospital stay.

One thing is certain, the good and experienced fastnights man is a person who also has a sense of humor, couple rhymes and justice. The most successful hand-made speakers – there is still no woman who could make a name for herself in political lectures – were always men who were very down-to-earth, funny types and who were able to look the people in the mouth excellently. Women were accepted as Sparkmariechen, princesses or ballet dancers. One cannot yet speak of a trend reversal.

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If I am correctly informed, the origins of the Mainz Carnival go back to the 15th century. This is the first time that an “unorganized folk festival with masquerade, eating, drinking, and dancing day and night” is reported. Little has changed in that to this day, apart from this unfortunate year.

The political, social satirical Carnival has changed over the past seven decades. Today it is more “left”, it has become more social democratic, but at least more centered than it was in the days of Rolf Braun and his employer in the State Chancellery, Helmut Kohl. This development did not necessarily come from the speakers, but at least as strongly from the foolish people.

Jokes about marginalized groups bring boos

Jokes at the expense of marginalized groups, homophobic stupidity certainly still exist in local meetings, but on TV Carnival, in front of a bourgeois, enlightened “Mainz remains Mainz” audience, the speaker is punished by boos. It is probably thanks to the length and breadth of the Rhine and a certain tendency towards pragmatism that Mainz can afford this openness and tolerance.

The people of Mainz know exactly how to do it with pluralism, but they quickly lose interest in it. If something gets too complicated, a couple of men (!) Sit down and “mess around” – they negotiate a deal that everyone can live with more or less well. (“Handkäs Mafia”)

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We Mainz live for the moment, the future may come, but it mustn’t demand too much from us, otherwise we will remain stubborn and object. Using the example of the Gutenberg Museum, the never-ending history of the town hall renovation and various large construction sites, this postponement and delay turned into a decade-long urban grotesque that – in the worst case (I almost wrote “Wurst Käs”) – led to a taste and financial disaster.

To be clear once again: We Mainz are highly talented, but not profound. We are cosmopolitan, but only after eating, we are empathetic and built as close to the water as the US Senators in Washington, but what really makes us something special: After a few sips of wine, we are incredibly enthusiastic, and who our love who feels our passion, he has to cry and drink wine immediately.

You can always rely on this city against agitation

You can feel that with every cabaret appearance in the “lower house”, but especially when you go to the Bütt as a speaker in the “Mainz remains Mainz” TV meeting.

Whenever it was important, be it the 2015 refugee policy, the unsavory AfD or the right-wing extremist terrorist attacks on fellow citizens in 2020, when I spoke sentences full of anger about things that were important to me, against racism, against exclusion and agitation, you could always rely on this city, there was a jolt through the castle, the people of Mainz stand like a wall against injustice.

The almost complete destruction of the city in World War II has remained a bitter lesson to this day. Never again fascism – Shrovetide forever!

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